Monday, June 30, 2008
The Flea's Eye View To The Environment
I was thinking about this today while walking in an area where bugs were everywhere. So many articles view the environmental crisis we might be facing as something to do with how humans could best control it, and many of those articles have the hidden assumption that the humans are the bosses, that the earth is our property and that all we need to figure is how to make the earth do what we want it to do.
It might be a fair stance to take. But suppose, instead, that our situation is more like that of fleas living on a dog (say, a smart poodle), and that we, the fleas, are smart enough to understand that what we are doing to the dog (living off it) is something the dog would rather not experience. If we go overboard on our blood sucking activities, the dog will get sick and might even die. Or -- horror of horrors! -- IF there is an owner to this planetary dog, the owner might decide to give it a fleabath. With poisons.
This changes the way the problem of environmental degradation might be seen. First, we have to try to survive without killing the dog (earth) and that might mean that we have to control the population of fleas. Also, if we are really smart fleas we should figure out how to suck the blood with the least damage to the host.